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Budget Modern Powder Room Makeover

Updated: Mar 11

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Ok, so I’m super proud of this project, it was my first time doing board and batten and I feel like I nailed it! Of course I’ll share my mistakes along the way!

The thing I love the most, is that you can get a high-end look just by using clean lines and contrasting colors. Bright walls flanking the lights allows the light to reflect throughout the bathroom, while the dark ceiling connecting the short walls creates the illusion of a longer room.

So what’s it going to cost?

This is a 37” x 6’ bathroom: Wall & Shelf Materials: Under $300

Optional New light & mirror about $175

This article contains affiliated links for I felt this was the most convenient option for new DIYers who don’t want to get lost in a large store. I also get a lot of my decor items from Amazon so it just made sense! If you want to get Amazon Prime while you are doing your projects, you can click HERE.


- (3) 1in x 6in x 6ft Select Pine for dividing boards: Select is smoother and has better grain for staining. If you were painting you can just opt for regular pine.

- (8) 1in x 2in x 6ft pine for battens, if you don’t have primer laying around, you’ll need some primer or you can skip this step for a few extra bucks and buy pre-primed pine. You may be able to get away with 4ft depending on your chosen height.

- (1) 6ft or (2) 3ft x 12in x 1in boards of your choice wood for shelves. I stuck with pine since I was staining. If you are putting up smaller, shallower shelves, it may be more convenient and cost effective to buy a shelf set with brackets included. Also, 2 in thick boards will be tempting, but they are too overwhelming for a small bathroom!

*** if this is your first time buying wood, remember, a 1in thick piece of wood is really 3/4 of an inch thick and the length is always 1/4-1/2in shorter. See example chart here from JL Woodworking.

Here’s a link to the full article: JL Woodworking


  • 1 gallon Satin of black/dark color

  • 1 quart Satin white/ light color

My specific paint: Sherwin Williams Bohemian Lace White & Tricorn Black

I always get the best quality paint available, it saves so much time and headache. There is a paint shortage, so there isn’t always the best of the best available.

Paint Supplies

***I already have these on hand so this is not a part of my budget

  1. Paint rollers both regular and mini

  2. Roller pads

  3. Pan & Disposable covers

  4. Angled brush

  5. Edger & Pads

  6. Small Artist paint brushes for touch ups

  7. Ziploc bags for keeping materials wet in between coats

This All-in-one Kit has most of these items!

Optional: painters tape/drop cloths

***on a hard floor, water based paint wipes right off, if you miss a spot, it will scrape off with your fingernail. I just keep wipes on hand instead of taping


***I have a lot of older tools, but you can never go wrong with DeWALT and Milwaukee. I have linked products below for convenience, they are not necessarily what I used. Also ask friends before you buy something, you’d be surprised who has a tools laying around.

  1. 2” Brad Nailer (the one I used in the video is pretty high-end electric Milwaukee 2839-20 Angled Nailer, but there are many options including the less expensive electric Ryobi)

  2. Miter or Table Saw or Circular Saw

  3. Electric driver/Drill I recommend having both because it’s really annoying being up on a ladder switching out the bits and driver tips, but it’s not necessary!

  4. Caulk gun

  5. level

  6. stud finder

**Super Budget option: Ryobi drill/ circular saw combo

Additional Supplies

  1. 2” Brad Nails

  2. White Caulk / Black Caulk

  3. medium grit drywall sponge

  4. construction adhesive/ liquid nails

  5. spackle

  6. spackle knife

  7. shelf brackets

  8. wood stain & tinted matching putty

***pay close attention to the drying process in the type of stain you buy

Optional Decor Items:

Modern Mirror

Modern Light or Update your Light Glass


TP Holder with phone holder

Glass Soap dispenser or Mounted

DIY Wood Art Piece


Time to get started!

Here is one of the most important steps: PLAN! Set a general schedule so that you don’t waste time. I wasn’t working in my own home so I couldn’t be as lax as usual. Lets pretend this is a weekend job.

Here are my basic steps:

Friday Evening Prep: cut and stain wood boards, prime batten boards (I angled the bottom of my boards to meet my narrow edge of the base molding) do not cut your batten length yet! Floors are often off so you want to measure each one independently once the Boards are up)

Saturday Recommended Schedule:

  1. If you are sealing any of your boards, this is the time to do it, sealer only takes a few hours to dry so it will be ready.

  2. Remove everything on the walls. That means the outlet covers too… don’t be lazy, you know who I’m talking to….

  3. If you are replacing your light and you don’t have a bright lamp or ring light, I recommend leaving your light on until painting is finished then replacing it and touching up around the light.

  4. Sand and spackle all holes

  5. While spackle is drying, remove fan cover and clean fan

  6. If you are using painters tape as a guide for you paint, now is a good time to put it up. I put my boards high to create an even grander illusion (and to avoid all switches 🤣) but I was already working with high ceilings, so you may want to tape up your boards and just see where you like it.

  7. Once your spackle is dry, gently sand it to get a smooth finish.

  8. WORK SMARTER NOT HARDER! No need to tape your walls, the last thing you want is random spots with the old color showing and the black paint will go right over the white. Paint those white wall sections right into the corners of the other walls and ceiling. Put your roller and brush in a Zip loc Bag to keep it wet….go eat lunch! You’ve earned it!

9. Second coat of white paint

10. Paint your battens at least one coat of black with your mini rollers then use the mini roller to paint behind the toilet and the sink. You won’t get everything, but you can use a brush for small spaces. Put the mini roller etc in a ziploc bag and set it to the side. Begin painting the bottoms of the white walls since this will not touch the semi dry white paint by the time your finish these two walls, the white walls should be dry enough to move on to the full walls. You can go ahead and remove your tape divider at this point to so you don’t have a line. If your white paint is still not dry, you can go ahead and paint the bulk of the black and leave the edges for the edger when the paint is dry. ONLY do this on the first coat. For the second coat, do the edger first and then the regular roller. This will help the smoother edger texture get overlapped by the roller texture to keep it consistent. Don’t fret about little speckles that will happen in the corners, we will fix it tomorrow. Put everything in ziploc bags if you are reusing them tomorrow, if you have replacements, just throw them out and start fresh! I always keep my pricier $6 angle brushes though, just wash those babies out if you don’t want to ziploc them.

If you are exhausted, this is a good time to stop!

Sunday Recommended Schedule:

  1. Now that you are refreshed and your paint is dry, go ahead and put up your longest board. It should almost touch each short wall. Use liquid nails/ construction adhesive along the unstained back, and then carefully place it against the wall. Set your level on top and then put one nail on one end, then a nail on the opposite end. If you put 2 nails in the same end, you won’t be able to tilt the board if it isn’t level. Go back and put a second nail on the bottom of each end. Remember the nails are just holding the board in place until the adhesive dries. This is decorative, not load-bearing, so you don’t need to go crazy with the nailer. ***Short people, make sure that you do not tilt the nailer up at an angle…I definitely had a nail or two shoot through the top that I had to remove and fill a few holes.

  2. If your nails are sticking out, DO NOT Hammer them, you will bang up your wood. There is a tool called a nail setter you use to hammer them in.

  3. Double check that your end pieces fit correctly with your pieces on either side of the door frame; have someone help you or use tape. If your end pieces are too long it’s going to be a real pain to try to fix, so now is your last chance to get it right!!!

  4. Put up your end pieces flush with the long piece, again using the level. If your wood is slightly off, make sure it is level and then fill in the gap with tinted putty at the end if it bothers you (I have one corner like that for me). Put up your 2 short pieces and voila!

  5. If you want a no-nail look, then fill your nail holes in with tinted wood putty that is a shade darker than your wood.

6. Now it’s time to mark your batten. I taped my batten in the place that I decided looked the best and then made sure it was the correct distance apart, and marked it where the bottome of the stained board met to batten. Don’t forget to measure from the baseboard, not the ground! I ended up with one extra batten that I cut a piece out of to make a guide for in between my boards. Then followed the same process as the stained boards: trim, liquid nails, then one nail in top and bottom. Putty the nail holes.

7. Touch up all paint edges with small artists brushes.

8. Caulk seams of batten ( I didn‘t caulk my board). When dry, paint over the caulk and batten until you are happy. Don’t forget to stir up your paint, its been sitting since yesterday!

At this point, you can pick and choose what to do next I recommend working from the top down:

  • Replace light fixture/update glass (touch up paint in area around new light if its a different size) The hardest thing about this light was getting the glass fixtures on, don’t let the electrical part scare you, its so straight forward, and hiring someone to do it will cost you more than your light. Most lights come with a how-to-video, and if it doesn’t there are so many out there.

  • Hang New Mirror or rehang old mirror (make sure you know where your studs are before you purchase your mirror. My stud was off center so I had to modify my mirror with a piece of scrap wood so it would hang centered but still be in a stud)

  • Hang shelves, again check your studs so you can order really good anchors if your shelves can’t be in studs. Luckily I could get mine in one stud, but the other side was a real pain. Next time I will definitely use toggle wall anchors instead. USE your level! I like to put up one side, put the board across to the other side (with the level on it) then mark the holes and proceed

  • Put outlet covers back on

  • Put up new TP holder if applicable

  • Put on fan cover



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